Agra (UP) 20 November (IANS). Agra Mayor Naveen Jain has sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Ministry of Culture demanding the removal of the ban on allowing only 5,000 visitors daily to the Taj Mahal.
For the first time on Thursday, 5,000 people arrived at the Taj Mahal after reopening in September. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Thursday decided to give free entry to visitors to the protected monuments in Agra to mark the beginning of World Heritage Week.
All types of businesses, industries, trains, buses have started operating after the Kovid-19 lockdown, but the ban on entry of visitors to the Taj Mahal, said Naveen Jain, the mayor of Agra and president of the All India Council of Mayors (AICM) In progress. This is adversely affecting the tourism industry and local economy of Agra. More than 3.5 lakh people in Agra depend on the revenue coming from tourism.
He said, Agra falls in the eco-sensitive Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ). In such a situation, there are fewer ways for industries and businesses to operate after environmental restrictions. People are forced to leave the city to earn money. Restrictions on limiting the number of visitors from the Taj Mahal to 5,000 should be lifted. The black marketing of tickets at the Taj Mahal is causing a loss of revenue to the tourism industry and the local economy. The offline ticketing process should resume without delay.
The number of tourists visiting the Taj Mahal on Thursday was 5,800, including 800 children. There is no ticket for children up to 15 years old. At the same time, 2,500 people reached Agra Fort. Whereas before the Kovid period, Taj and Agra used to reach 25,000 and 15,000 people daily on average.
ASI (Agra Circle) Superintending Archivologist Vasant Swarnakar said that all KOVID-19 protocols are being followed as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.